Continuing Tales

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 20 of 48

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The White Court was in a tither in the throne room. There hadn't been a Ritual of Citizenship in well over seven hundred years. To add to the excitement, the person to receive citizenship hadn't even been living in Underland for a year!

No matter though. For those on the throne room side of the door, it only made the spectacle more enjoyable.

On the opposite side of the door though, Alice was about to have a conniption.

She paced and paced and paced the length of hallway where she had been confined to wait for Tarrant. Mally had volunteered to keep her company until it was time, but Alice had been too nervous to say much. Finally they heard footsteps behind them and Alice wheeled around to face a slightly pink in the face Tarrant. His eyes, which had been spitting fire, widened and became a grassy green at the sight of her.

The dress and veil fitted her perfectly. The lace clung to her shoulders and the bell sleeves hung about her wrists. Celeste had layered the rest of the lace over the heart shaped bodice and her neckline. The rest of the gown fell in a triangle around her feet. The veil he had fashioned was simple. A white cloth band, not unlike the ones she had worn as a child, had the veil attached to it. She was absolutely beautiful.

Tarrant couldn't help but eye her footwear though.

Alice seemed to have donned her white boots instead of the fashionable heels Mirana had leant her.

"I was afraid of tripping." Her voice was a little shaky, as was her smile. Tarrant simply shrugged and nodded before smiling again.

"Ye look lovely lass. As bonnie as a white rose." The compliment was accompanied by his rough brogue and caused Alice to blush. Mally rolled her eyes at the statement and sped off into the throne room to alert the Queen.

"Indeed. I guess that explains why you went from angry to happy. What was wrong Hatter?" She asked, hoping to direct the attention away from herself. His eyes darkened again.

"Bloody hat is missing! I know I placed it on the table last night and now, poof! It's disappeared. I swear, if I find out who's behind this I'll –"

"Save your breath Hightopp. It's right here." Tarrant's hat came floating into view before Chess's head appeared under it. Tarrant quickly swiped it off his head and brushed it off while muttering to himself. Alice was fairly certain the words "dunderheed" and "twally" come out of his mouth. Not understanding the language she frowned in bemusement. Chess of course took notice.

"Put a smile on love, this will all be over with shortly." His tickled her chin with his fluffy tail, causing an unwanted giggle to escape. Pleased with her reaction, he gave a mock salute to Tarrant and faded away.

Tarrant and Alice moved to stand in front of the doors. There was still movement and voices on the other side, so they could only stand and wait. Tarrant wasn't sure what to say and decided to start his usual list. Today's letter was R, in honor of the ritual today.

Reap, row, read, risk, refrain, regain … Oh! Was that a rhyme?

"I'm frightened Hatter." Alice's voice was barely a whisper, but it still startled Tarrant. He looked down at her. She was still facing the doors but was paler than usual. Tarrant reached out and gently turned her to face him. Alice looked up at him, her eyes wide with fear.

"Why would the greatest Champion Underland has ever known, be afraid of a little river water?" He asked, hoping the joke would make her smile. Apparently not. Alice ducked her head and a slight tremor went through her body.

"What if I'm not meant to belong here? What if my duty really is done and Underland truly has no more use for me?" Her voice was full of anguish and self-doubt. Tarrant felt his heart constrict at her words. Fingers trembling, he reached out and tilted her head up to look her in the eyes.

"Alice lass, am I here?"

"Yes." Her expression became quizzical.

"Are you here?"

"As far as I can tell." Tarrant smiled at the whisper of spunk in her voice.

"Well then you are meant to be here lass, because wherever I am, you are meant to be. Just like wherever you are, I am meant to be. Underland knew this long ago, I assure you."

Alice's eyes filled with tears at his words, but she didn't let them fall. Instead she took his hand, softly kissed the palm, and held it to her cheek. She closed her eyes, letting them both savor the moment.

The noise on the other side of the door went silent. Tarrant swallowed and Alice released his hand. Still feeling the stinging warmth from the contact of her lips, Tarrant held out his arm, palm down, like the knights of old. Alice watched him carefully.

"Ready my Alice?" She smiled and placed her hand on his. They turned towards the doors and stepped through them together.

Alice had been kneeling for at least an hour. Mirana had been reciting the ritual's speeches and was beginning to lose her voice. Everyone was impatient but no one more especially than Tarrant Hightopp.

He was worried about the Queen who had several meetings tomorrow. He was worried about poor Alice's knees beginning to hurt. But mostly he was worried this ritual would never end!

Finally, Absolem alighted on the silver ewer with the water. The Queen handed the heavy book to Nivens and took up the ewer. At long last she stepped up to Alice and began to pour the water over her head and shoulders. When all of it had been poured out, Mirana stepped back and the entire assembly held its breath.

For a minute it seemed like nothing was going to happen and Tarrant began to panic. His eyes sought Celeste out in the room but when they found her, she looked just as confused and afraid as he was.

"Oh!" The woman next to him gasped and Tarrant whipped his eyes back to Alice's kneeling form. She was looking at herself in wonder.

The lace along her dress and veil was beginning to change color. The white was fading to blue, but not the blue that Tarrant had always associated with Alice. This blue was softer, with silvers and a faint lavender undertone. It reminded him of the color of the Nolanar Mountains as dusk. No it was not what he had expected, but it was better. Because now he truly knew what Alice blue looked like.

At the end of the transformation, Alice stood and curtseyed to the Queen. Mirana turned her around so she could face the crowd.

"Our newest citizen of Underland!" She declared triumphantly. Her triumph couldn't match that in Alice's beaming smile though, for in that moment, she felt like she just defeated the Jabberwocky all over again. Her eyes found Tarrant and they shared that secret knowing smile, uncaring of who saw in that moment.

Later that evening, after the celebratory feast and the many hugs and welcomes were over, Alice, Tarrant, Chessur and Mirana retreated to the Queen's sitting room. Alice had since changed out of her ceremonial garb and was back in her tunic and breeches, although to Tarrant's delight her hair was down and her shoes were off.

He had sat in a squashy armchair across from the Queen while Chess rested on the small table in front of them. Alice, again to Tarrant's delight, was seated on the floor resting against his legs. She had her veil still in hand and was very quiet. Chess paused in his self-bath to look at her.

"Cat got your tongue love?" He asked with a knowing grin. She lifted her head up to scrunch her nose at him and Mirana chuckled.

"What is it lass?" Tarrant asked softly. Something was going on in that beautiful mind of hers.

"It's not what I … expected." She finally said, looking back at the veil in her hands. They waited for her to continue.

"I thought it would be, you know, my blue. The blue I always wear when I'm here." She looked up at them and seemed to be asking for an explanation. Surprisingly it was Chess who answered first.

"But it is your blue. Officially, it is now the only Alice blue."

Alice glanced at Tarrant but he seemed to be deep in thought, so she looked to Mirana next. The White Queen smiled and folded her hands in her lap.

"I think Alice dear, that it is not the blue you expected because that blue was not of this world. You always brought it here from Above. I think Underland wanted to give you something that belonged purely to you and it. To form that bond. Also, that blue was in all honesty, the color of your childhood. You're a grown woman now, with responsibilities and a life to make your own. So the color reflects that, who you are, deep down inside."

Alice nodded at Mirana's words of wisdom. But one thing still bothered her. She placed the veil on the arm of Tarrant's chair and angled her body to face him.

"It doesn't bother you, does it Hatter? I'm sure you expected to be able to work with the other color. If you don't like it, I understand."

Tarrant gazed at her steadily for a few minutes before smiling at her and answering.

"Alice, it's a part of you. How could I not like it?" Alice's face broke into a sunny smile. She took his hand up and placed another kiss to the palm.

"Thank you Hatter!" He took her hand and held it firmly in his own.

"No Alice, thank you. Thank you for coming back, for rescuing me, and for simply being you. Underland has now the brightest jewel in its crown and I have the best of people to call my friend."

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 20 of 48

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